In chapter 1, book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles, published in , Captain John Smith describes. Smith as Unreliable Narrator in The General History of Virginia While John Smith did many things for the. Captain John Smith (–) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, sailor, and author. He is remembered for his role in.

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Divided into sixe bookes.

The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles – Wikipedia

But he so much scorned their charitie, and publikely defied the vttermost of their crueltie, he wisely prevented their policies, though he could not suppresse their historiw, yet so well he demeaned himselfe in this businesse, as all the grnerall did see his innocency, and his adversaries malice, and those suborned to accuse him, accused his accusers of subornation; many vntruthes were alledged against him; but being so apparently disproved, begat a generall hatred in the hearts of the company against such vniust Commanders, that the President was adiudged to giue him 1.

They in the canoes let fly also as fast, but amongst them we bestowed so many shot [that] the most of smiht leaped over board and swam ashore; but two or three escaped by rowing. Yet although he were but twentie myles from his habitation the time we were in the Downes and notwithstanding the stormy weather, nor the scandalous imputations of some few, little better then Atheists, jhn the greatest ranke amongst vs suggested against him, all this could never force from him so much as a seeming desire to leaue the busines, but preferred the service of God, in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his godlesse foes, whose disasterous designes could they haue prevailed — page 42 — had even then overthrowne the businesse, so many histirie did then arise, had he not with the water of patience, and his godly exhortations but chiefly by his true devoted examples quenched those flames of envie, and dissention.

Though there be fish in virginja sea, fowls in the air, and beasts in the woods, their bounds are so large, they so wild, and we so weak and ignorant we cannot much trouble them.

Transcription from Original

Peter Keffer, a gunsmith. That we feed you with hopes, etc.: And having done the best they could to content us, we parted good friends and returned to Jamestown.

Soon, the term Virginia came to refer only to that part of North America covered by the London Company’s original charters. Some idle exceptions being muttered against Captain Smith for not discovering the head of Chickahominy River and [being] taxed by the Council to be too slow in so worthy snith attempt, the next voyage [in December] he proceeded so far that with much labor by cutting trees in sunder he made his passage, but when his barge could pass no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of shot, commanding none should go ashore till his return.


Now Captaine Smithwho all this time from their departure from the Canaries was restrained as a prisoner vpon the scandalous suggestions of some of the chiefe envying his repute who fained he intended to vsurpe the virginiz, murther the Councell, and make himselfe King, that his confederats were dispersed in all the three ships, and that divers of his confederats that revealed it, would affirme it, for this he was committed as a prisoner: Neither better fish, more plenty, nor more variety for small fish had any of us ever seen in any place so swimming in the water, but they are not to be caught with frying pans.

But not seeing nor hearing any people and the river very narrow, we returned to the great river to see if we could find any of them, coasting the shore towards Nansemond which is cirginia oyster banks.

But during this great discovery thirty miles which might as well have been done by one man and much more for the value of a pound of copper at a seasonable time they had the pinnace and all the boats with them but one that remained with me to serve the fort. Being but six or seven in company, he went down the river to Kecoughtan, where at first they scorned him, as a famished man, and would in derision offer him a handful of corn, a piece of bread for their swords and muskets, and such like proportions also for their apparel.

Yet what he carefully provided the rest carelessly spent. For remedy of which sin, the President devised how to have every man’s oaths numbered. pf

Further, he had never visited Bermuda, which had been separated from Virginia to be managed by the Somers Isles Company formed in by the shareholders of the Virginia Company. Master Scrivener, Captain Waldo, and Captain Winne at the fort, every one in like manner carefully regarded their charge. And now, where some, affirmed it was ill done of the Council to send forth men so badly provided, this incontradictable reason will show them plainly they are too ill advised to nourish such ill conceits.

Two children being dead, some extreme passions or dreaming visions, fantasies, or affection moved their parents again to revisit their dead carcasses, whose benumbed bodies reflected to the eyes of the beholders such delightful countenances, as though they had regained their vital spirits.

They cried to us to do no more; all should be as we would, which presently they performed. But when they departed, there remained neither tavern, beer house, nor place of relief but the common kettle.

Our captain sporting himself by nailing them to the ground with his sword set us all a fishing in that manner. But because all the world doe see a defailement; this following Treatise shall giue satisfaction to all indifferent Readers, how the businesse hath bin carried: If he and Archer return again, they are sufficient to keep us always in factions.

And for the quartered boat to be borne by the soldiers over the falls: And I humbly entreat you hereafter let us know what we should receive and not stand to the sailors’ courtesy to leave us what they please, else you may charge us with what you will but we not you with anything. In Mevis, Monaand the Virgin Isles, we spent some time, where, with a lothsome beast like a Crocodil, called a Gwayn, Tortoises, Pellicans, Parrots, and fishes, we daily feasted.


With so much as we could carry we returned to our boat, kindly requiting this kind king and all his kind people. At last one of them desired us to go to his house up that river.

Of mines we were all ignorant, but a few beavers, otters, bears, martins, and minks we found. The simple savages seeing our captain hurt and another bloody by breaking his skin, our numbers of bows, arrows, swords, mantles, and furs would needs imagine we had been at wars.

Ashore we went and where they wrought we threw diverse toys and so departed.

The next day searching them for fresh water we could find none, the defect whereof forced us to follow the next eastern channel, which brought us to the river of Wighcocomoco [Pocomoke]. It hath a good channel but many shoals about the entrance.

Seven or eight miles we sailed up this narrow river. And some we have found dead upon the shore.

The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles

Having gone so high as we could with the boat, we met diverse savages in canoes well loaden with the flesh of bears, deer, and other beasts; whereof we had part. The first people we saw were two grim and stout savages upon Cape Charles, with long poles like javelins, headed with bone.

Presently from each side the river came arrows so fast as two or three hundred could shoot them, whereat we returned to get the open. But twenty good workmen had been better than them all. The rest fled again to the woods and ere long sent one of the Quiyoughkasoucks to offer peace and redeem their Okee.

Each hour expecting the fury of the savages, when God, the patron of all good endeavors, in that desperate extremity so changed the hearts of the savages, that they brought such plenty of their fruits and provisions that no man wanted.

We digged and searched in many places but before two days were expired, we would have refused two barricoes of gold for one of that puddle water of Wighcocomoco.

Captain Newport, being dispatched with the trials of pitch, tar, glass, frankincense, soap-ashes, [along] with that clapboard and wainscot that could be provided, met with Master Scrivener at point Comfort, and so returned for England.

Two virfinia three days we expected [experienced] wind and weather whose adverse extremities added such discouragement that three or four fell sick, whose pitiful complaints caused us to return, leaving the Bay some nine miles broad at nine and ten fathom water. The 16th of June we fell with the river Potomac.